Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Dropping grades

So basically, every term we have a C.U test. For my first test my grades were considered okay by my parents and that's when it started.

Since then, my parents have started pressuring me.

For my 2nd test my grades improved and I managed to move up to top set maths but my parents didn't congratulate me in any way, but said that I needed to work harder instead of always playing on the computer. I get that I need to work harder to catch up with the others but saying I ALWAYS go on my computer to play and NEVER revise kind of hurts- especially when she's seen me do it before!

Now for my 3rd CU, stress started to get to me and my grades dropped from A's and B's to C's (Which aren't good enough in my parent's eyes)

What should I do? I'm really worried because I don't want to get into more trouble.
Talking/explaining won't work because it's considered back chatting- even in a small voice....and I don't exactly want to tell them they're the cause of my stress. It's just hard to open up and tell them

Ask Sam


Hi there,
It can be really hard talking to your parents. Reading that your parents tell you off for “back-chatting” when you try to explain yourself made me think about how difficult it might be for you to express opinions at home unless you think the same as your mum and dad.

The pressure to keep your grades up sounds huge. I don’t know from your letter is how this pressure is affecting you or what it’s like for you not to have parents who understand how things are for you. If you’d like to talk to someone about this you can always get in touch with a ChildLine counsellor. At ChildLine it is always okay for you to express your thoughts and feelings no matter what they are. Talking things through can really help. You might find the message boards useful as I know lots of young people are experiencing exam stress at the moment.

I’m not sure whether your teachers are supportive or if they know how much pressure you are under. If they knew what things are like for you at home, they might be able to give you some support or help you talk to your parents about what things are like at school.

I can hear how hard you’ve worked and how hurtful it felt when your mum made the comment about you always playing on your computer instead of working or revising. Your best effort is always good enough, no matter what grade you get.

Take care,

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